Real Estate

Inside Tips on Buying and Renting Property in Israel

Yitzi Feld

Yitzi Feld is different. He has quickly built a name for himself in the competitive field of real estate due to his Western approach to customer service and his Middle Eastern bargaining mindset which gives him the upper hand when it comes to getting the best deals in Israel.  His upbringing and the unsavory things he saw taking place in the real estate market influenced him to want to help people looking to purchase or rent a property.  We met with Yitzi to discuss his niche in the market.

When did you first get interested in the real estate business?

From the time I was a teen, I worked as an apprentice in building and renovation.  I accumulated much knowledge and experience in construction.  I liked the fields of home design and property management.

What is unique about the way you work?

As I learned more and more about constructions, floor plans and building, I learned what was properly built and what was shoddy or sub-standard with inferior materials.  This included apartments and other structures.  I came across many Anglos (and Israelis) who had been victims of unscrupulous contractors, real estate agents and other business people.  My parents are Americans and they too experienced this, until I got involved and was able to protect them.  I saved them a lot of money… and future headaches! I decided that I wanted to help other people too.  I got my license in real estate and after a short stint with a large firm, opened up my own office.  Big companies have an attitude of sell, sell, sell.  I wanted out of that.  My greatest joy is the knowledge that I really helped someone.  I empower my clients so they can avoid becoming another ‘frier’ (sucker) in Israel.  I know I can save them money and keep them from being taken advantage of.

Ask my clients.  I often get them something they never knew they could ask for, or ‘demand’, with their purchase or rental.  Even local Israelis who work in different professions and don’t know the housing market can get fooled by something that looks good externally.  From my construction experience, I can spot problems and warn my client that the home they think they want may not even be worth bargaining for.

What special services have you provided for your clients to date?

I often do extra work that people’s lawyers should do.  I have gone to government offices to determine the legal owners of a property, whether it has liens on it, whether building permits have been attained, etc.  My goal is to find problems before a deal is closed, as opposed to having the clients discover them only after completing the purchase or rental process.  I know of cases where hidden issues prevented buyers from being able to re-sell their property. One woman I helped wanted to buy a beautiful little apartment by the sea.  She even made an offer on it on her own, but after asking me to come and look at it, I saw that though it had a nice cosmetic look, the floor-plan wasn’t practical and there were construction and legal ownership problems.  I suggested she buy an apartment in a building that was under construction, nearby.  In less than one year, the value of her new home went up $100,000, while the first apartment remained on the market for some time.

How much time and effort do you devote to each real estate search?

When I was in the army, I was a paratrooper.  There are very high standards, and every soldier is expected to make the maximum effort to achieve maximum results.  Also, in order to be a good soldier, you must be very organized and keep all your equipment within reach at all times.  As a realtor, I do the same.  I have my mission, I organize, and I get my goals accomplished.  I had one client in the U.S.  that couldn’t make a trip to Israel, but wanted to purchase an apartment in Jerusalem within walking distance of the Old City.  He was on a tight budget.  I searched around and called my contacts and found him a lovely renovated apartment within his budget.  Before someone else could snatch it, we sent him pictures and videos of the apartment, the building and the street so he could see everything.  I also discovered that the apartment had approval from city hall to add another room.  It immediately rose in value and he was ecstatic.  We sent everything to his lawyer who signed for the apartment and got the keys, all without the buyer having to come here.  I now manage it for him and he gets thousands of shekels each month while sitting in the USA.

What is your secret to getting new customers?

I recently got a call from an older client who needed help in dealing with bureaucracy.  I went to her house and spent over an hour on the phone, sorting out her issue.  The extra help and service my clients receive makes them really enthusiastic to recommend me to their friends!

Yitzi Feld at Feldteam specializes in Jerusalem as well as other selected areas of Israel.

He can be reached at 054-883-6328 or yitzi@feldteam.com.

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